Doctrine update

Command, control, communications and computers in the Contemporary Operational Environment

by K.N. Svendsen and Russell McCray

The events of Sept. 11, 2001 have shown that the operating environment and doctrine of the past must be adapted to better protect America’s homeland and national interests. Two years into the new millennium, the Army finds itself operating in a new, multidimensional environment. This new environment is known as the Contemporary Operational Environment.

The Signal Regiment is assuming new responsibilities within the realm of command, control, communications, and computers operations that will require new skillsets and functions. To meet the need for up-to-date Signal Regiment keystone doctrine, the Signal Center is developing Field Manual 6-02, C4 Operations in the Contemporary Operational Environment. FM 6-02 will be posted as an initial draft in 4th Quarter 2002 and will ultimately replace the current Signal Regiment keystone manual, FM 24-1, last published in 1990.

FM 6-02 will provide keystone C4 operations doctrine for the Signal Regiment. Current and future adversaries may range from highly trained, competent forces equipped with advanced technologies to disparate and fragmented elements without formal doctrine and utterly reliant upon asymmetric methods.

FM 6-02 discusses the COE and highlights some of the responsibilities and operational areas that members of the Signal Regiment will face to provide a high level of support to the warfighter anywhere and anytime. C4 operations highlights the unifying efforts that combine the visions, judgments and impressions of multiple commanders and key warfighters into a single, coherent thought, allowing the views, ideas and judgments of many experts, specialists and authorities to be brought to bear on any given task.

FM 6-02 details C4-operations assistance in the proper positioning of critical information, enabling commanders and warfighters to respond quickly and decisively to requests for information by placing and maintaining the information where it’s most needed. It provides a means of producing a picture of the operations area that’s accurate and distinctive and meets warfighters’ needs.

FM 6-02 highlights the role C4 operations will perform in ensuring the successful accomplishment of Army forces, joint operations and homeland-security missions. The FM provides the crisis- and consequence-management definitions needed when making operational decisions. Also, the FM addresses both current and future communications architectures used in C4 support.

Concurrent with the development of FM 6-02 is the development of the information-management concept of operations, which will be the basis for the Signal Regiment IM doctrinal FM. The IM FM will provide the doctrinal guidance, direction and management required for information and information management.

IM is a basic element of the information-superiority construct and is a key component of C4 operations. As defined in FM 3-0, “[IM] is the provision of relevant information to the right person at the right time in a usable form to facilitate decision-making. It uses procedures and information systems to collect, process, store, display and disseminate data and information.”

IM is an integral part of all operations. It’s a never-ending process and is inherent to every decision and action from planning through execution. IM systems and processes will directly influence the achievement of knowledge dominance and decision superiority. The Signal Regiment’s doctrinal FM will define the processes, systems, responsibilities and organizations involved within this broad and critical area.

The Doctrine Branch develops Signal Regiment doctrinal publications and is under the Concepts and Doctrine Division of the Directorate of Combat Developments at Fort Gordon, Ga. The Doctrine Branch invites everyone to visit the Signal Regiment Doctrine Digital Library ( to view all draft Signal Regiment doctrinal publications. All comments and recommendations are welcome.

Mr. Svendsen is a retired Signal Corps lieutenant colonel with 22 years’ experience in a variety of communications leadership positions around the world. He is currently working in the Concepts and Doctrine Division of the Signal Center’s DCD.

Mr. McCray develops and writes doctrinal literature for the Concepts and Doctrine Division of the Signal Center’s DCD. He is a 26-year retired Army veteran and a graduate of Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Ill.

Acronym QuickScan
C4 – command, control, communications and computers
COE – Contemporary Operational Environment
DCD – Directorate of Combat Developments
FM – field manual
IM – information management

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